Why Do Some Deodorants Contain Aluminum, and What Does it Do to the Body?
First, let’s talk about what the purpose is of putting aluminum in some deodorants. Deodorants containing aluminum are actually called “antiperspirants”. Aluminum salts within antiperspirants are the compounds that prevent sweating. These salts dissolve and essentially, cause a “block” or a “plug” on the surface of your skin, which prevents the moisture from ever exiting your body. Aluminum salts are, in most cases, blocking the stimulation of your sweat glands.
So what does it mean for your body to be blocking that sweat from coming out of you? In general, sweat is one of the ways that toxins leave your body, as well as through the filtration of your kidney and liver. The constant usage of a substance that block those toxins from getting out of your system can potentially cause a blockage of possibly harmful toxins.
Though there has been plenty of research to discover possible links between aluminum in antiperspirants to breast cancer, kidney and liver dysfunction, hormone disruption, and even lymphatic system issues, the research is still being continued and it is uncertain today, though many still believe there is a risk over time.
According to some studies (links to all sources will be listed below), when the aluminum salts are dissolved and absorbed, they can even mimic estrogen-like effects, which furthermore may lead to hormone dysfunction. Since these aluminum salts are absorbed in the underarm areas, and they block toxins and sweat from leaving the body, there have also been studies of the possibility of a high concentration of toxins building up in the lymph nodes as well- which could cause further endocrine system disruption.
How to Detox Your Underarms From Aluminum and Other Toxins?
So, the risk of continuing use of antiperspirants is a bit unnerving, but the task of ridding your underarms and system of those potential toxins sounds daunting? Don’t worry we got you! So, let’s talk about what detoxing your underarms entails, and what you’ll experience during this time of detox.
First, it’s best to start by kicking those antiperspirants out of your routine completely. Just get rid of them- 2020 is the year of kicking out the toxic things, and this is a great place to start! After you’ve kicked those nasty aluminum salts to the curb, many people recommend going completely without deodorant for anywhere from 1 week, to 30 days, depending on your individual body chemistry. (What better time to do this than now when you’re isolated at home!?)
During this time, since you’re no longer blocking out the sweat, your body may start working over time to pump those toxins out of you… which may result in stronger odors that you may not be used to experiencing from yourself. This process will begin as soon as you stop using chemical deodorants and antiperspirants on a consistent basis, and will continue for however long it takes your body to rid itself of the possible “build up”.
During the detox period, it has been said, both by dermatologists and people who have tried this, there is the possibility of resetting your body’s microbiome (the genetic material which makes up all of your body’s “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep you balanced).
Now you’ve made it through the possibly smelly detox period, what next? The most common thing people who are jumping into the armpit-detoxing world are doing is masking with a detox clay powder. And no, I don’t mean, “masking the scent”.
Clay masks are a great way to draw toxins out of your body, and many people have gone from complete deodorant detox, to masking in order to draw toxins out even further. Usually the detox clay mask consists of some type of strong clay, for example a bentonite, or even stronger and better for pulling out those stubborn toxins, “Kanwa” clay and apple cider vinegar.
Most people say 2-3x weekly was enough for them, but always go with what your own body is telling you.
Also, since clay powder is a great ingredient to detox and may even absorb some sweat and odor, some people may even be able to transition to using natural deodorants, or clay deodorants specifically, right off the bat without any detoxing period!
You’ve Cleaned House and are Ready to Start Using Natural Deodorants…
Some benefits to using natural deodorants include, little to no synthetic fragrances used, no aluminum/aluminum salts, and in general little to no added chemicals, all of which could contribute to less potential for toxic buildup going forward. So, with less toxic build up in your underarms, the possibility of having less sweat production and less strength of the odor itself, also increases with time! Now that you’ve decided to switch for a natural, clean, aluminum free, and non-toxic deodorant alternative, here are some things to look for in a natural product:
First, you’ll want to find naturally and organically sourced ingredients that will make this deodorant effective without being harmful. Examples of ingredients that you may find in most natural deodorants or clay deodorantsare coconut oil or Eucalyptus Mint Oil for their antibacterial and disinfectant properties. You may also find an assortment of essential oils to provide a pleasant scent, because remember, you are still sweating and though the scent may lighten over time, I’m sure you’ll still want to smell pleasant. Examples of oils you may find in natural deodorants are lavender, lemon peel, and eucalyptus– all of which contain their own added health benefits as well!
Next you may find some sort of agent for “combating” moisture. So, since you’re since you’ve removed the “sweat blockers” from your personal care routine, you may be hoping that there is something in a natural deodorant that will at least help in absorption of that moisture. That’s when you’ll find ingredients such as clay powder, baking soda, arrowroot, cornstarch, and the possibilities are endless for so many others!
Jennifer, C 2018, ‘The No BS Guide to Natural Deodorants’, https://www.healthline.com/health/natural-deodorants-work-smart-girls-guide
Pennmedicine.org, 2019, ‘Is Deodorant Harmful for Your Health’, https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/june/deodorant
Cancer.gov, 2019, ‘Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer’, https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team, 2014, ‘Antiperspirants and breast cancer risk’, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/antiperspirants-and-breast-cancer-risk.html
Lana, B 2018, ‘Armpit Detox: Benefits and how to do it’, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319624
Catharine, P 2016, ‘Wearing antiperspirant, deodorant significantly alters armpit bacteria’, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305995
Jenna, F 2020, ‘Armpit Lumps: Causes, diagnosis, and treatment’, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317047